Minecraft X-Ray is a program whose primary purpose is to aid in finding
valuable ores and resources inside a Minecraft world. By default, when you
select a resource type to highlight, X-Ray will cause any blocks of that
type to visibly glow within the range of loaded chunks. The glowing can
sometimes be a bit much, so you can also toggle the glowing on/off, which
will still leave all instances of the selected resource visible on the
Additionally, X-Ray is somewhat useful for taking a look at natural
underground caves, to find out how extensive they are, or even to help
find your way out if you're lost.
The original author of Minecraft X-Ray was plusminus, who was kind enough
to provide the sourcecode for that excellent application.
Minecraft X-Ray is released under the Modified BSD License.
See COPYING.txt for more information, and Changelog.txt for a complete
list of changes since X-Ray 2.7. X-Ray uses various third-party libraries
for other tasks. See COPYING.txt for details on their licensing, and
COPYING-*.txt for copies of the licenses themselves.
X-Ray includes code kindly provided by Eleazar Vega-Gonzalez and Saxon Parker.
Thanks a bunch!
See TODO.txt for a list of known bugs and things that I'd like to
implement, and BUILDING.txt if you wanted some info on building the project
The official website for Minecraft X-Ray is currently:
The official forum link is currently:
Once again, many thanks to plusminus for writing X-Ray in the first place,
and providing the sourcecode so that it could be extended and maintained.
There isn't an installer for this currently. Perhaps one day...
Windows users should be able to run the program by just doubleclicking on
minecraft_xray.exe or minecraft_xray.bat.
Linux and OSX users should be able to doubleclick on either minecraft_xray.sh
or minecraft_xray_osx.command (the files are actually identical).
Note that currently the mouse buttons cannot be specified in the properties
file, so those functions are hardcoded. All keyboard commands can be
overridden, though. The default keybindings are as follows:
Fly Upward: SPACE
Fly Downward: LEFT SHIFT
Move Faster: Left Control / Left Mouse Button (hold)
Move Slower: Right Shift / Right Mouse Button (hold)
Warp to Spawnpoint: HOME
Warp to Player Position: END
Cycle Up through Presets: INS
Cycle Down through Presets: DEL
Jump to Arbitrary Position: J
Jump to Nearest Chunk: - (dash, minus)
Jump to next dimension: N
Jump to previous dimension: P
Lock to Vertical Axis: L
Highlight Ores: F1 - F10
Toggle Highlight Glow: H
Set Highlight distance: 1 - 7
Toggle Fullbright: F
Toggle Bedrock: B
Toggle Water: T
Increase Lighting Range: + (on numpad)
Decrease Lighting Range: - (on numpad)
Set visibility range: NUMPAD1 - NUMPAD6 (remember numlock)
Toggle "explored" areas: E
Toggle accurate grass sides: G
Toggle Beta 1.9 Fences: C
Toggle Silverfish highlight: V
Toggle chunk borders: U
Toggle slime chunks: M
Toggle Distance Sphere: / (forward slash)
Set Distance Sphere Center: ; (semicolon)
Enlarge Distance Sphere: . (period)
Shrink Distance Sphere: , (comma)
Toggle Fullscreen: BACKSPACE
Toggle Level Info: ` (grave accent)
Toggle Rendering Info: R (on by default)
Reload Map from Disk: =
Open New Map: O
Show large map: TAB
Release Mouse: ESC
Show Keyboard Reference: Y
Change Block Highlights: ] (right bracket)
EXTRA BLOCK DEFINITIONS
As of version 3.3.0, X-Ray includes a mechanism to allow the user to
define custom block types. X-Ray will read any block definition file
found inside the "blockdefs" directory inside .minecraft_xray. This
is located at:
OSX: ~/Library/Application Support/.minecraft_xray/blockdefs/
Each file must have a ".yaml" extension, and X-Ray won't read any file
named "minecraft.yaml". It would be best practice to name the file
after the mod you're intending to support, such as "aether.yaml". The
file format is in YAML 1.1. There should be some very detailed docs
contained inside the global "minecraft.yaml" file (you can find this
in X-Ray's own "blockdefs" directory, where you unpacked it). Examples
(and a copy of the global minecraft.yaml file) can be found here:
As mentioned above, X-Ray will automatically attempt to load any YAML
file it finds in the blockdefs directory, and it will display which ones
it was able to load on the opening dialog. If your file doesn't show up
in the list, there's probably an error in it - you should be able to
find that error in the file minecraft_xray_output_log.txt in the root
X-Ray directory. Linux and OSX users (and Windows users who use the .BAT
file instead of the .EXE) will see the errors on the console from which
X-Ray was launched, as well.
There are three main "sliders" available to control how things are
rendered: Visibility range, Highlighting range, and Lighting.
Visibility range specifies how many chunks away from the camera the
app will render at any one time. The minimum is 3, the maximum is 8.
Highlighting range specifies how many chunks away from the camera the
app will highlight/glow the selected resources that you're looking for.
Often (with more common resources) you'll want to keep this value very
low. Otherwise it becomes quite difficult to tell where you're actually
going. For less common resources (like pumpkins or clay), you'll want
to have it set as high as possible, though. Note that this will never
be able to highlight ores outside the set visibility range.
Lighting just determines the OpenGL "fog" value. This is useful to have
a better sense of scale while moving around. You can toggle into
"fullbright" mode with F, which will disable the fog entirely.
In addition to the sliders, there are a few toggles which let you set
whether to always draw water and bedrock. Water is on by default, and
bedrock is off by default (though it will of course show up if necessary,
regardless of this setting).
The ore highlighting glow can be toggled using the "H" key. This will
cycle between the three states of ore highlighting glow. The default is a
rainbow effect which one user has described as "disco." The next selection
is a plain white highlighting which was the default until version 3.4.0.
Finally, the glow will be turned off entirely. Note that with the glow
turned off, every instance of the specified ore will still be rendered
onscreen, so this toggle is still quite useful for tracking down ores.
The "explored" area toggle, basically just tints any blocks around torches with
a green color. This makes it very easy to see where you've explored in
underground caves (and is fairly useless above ground). It does this in a
7x7x7 cube centered around the torches, so the highlighting can easily "bleed
over" into adjacent tunnels where you might not have actually explored, but
it's usually very easy to tell when that's happened.
The toggle for grass sides will let you toggle the accurate grass sides
on or off. Until version 3.2.0, Minecraft X-Ray drew grass as a solid block
of green, which I found occasionally handy while hollowing out mountains
and the like, to know where I could still dig out and where I was right up
against the edge. X-Ray will now default to the more-accurate rendering,
but you can toggle back and forth with the "G" key.
Minecraft Beta 1.9 changed the way fences work slightly, so that they will
"connect" up to adjacent solid blocks. X-Ray will now, by default, render
fences that way, but you can toggle it with the "C" key, in case you're
viewing pre-1.9 maps.
By default, X-Ray will highlight Silverfish blocks with a red tint. You can
toggle this on and off with the "V" key.
The "U" key can be used to toggle the rendering of chunk borders. This will
draw a transparent box around the chunk the camera is currently in, so it's
easy to see what's inside your current chunk and what isn't.
The "Slime Chunk" option will turn on the highlighting of chunks which
should be able to spawn Slimes. The highlighting will actually only occur
on the bottom part of the map, where the slimes themselves are actually
capable of spawning. The equation used to calculate this was taken from
http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Slime#Spawning in early October, 2011,
when Beta 1.9-pre2 was out. The equation may or may not be valid for
earlier or later versions of Minecraft, but should be at least valid
for Minecraft Beta 1.6 through Minecraft 1.0. The default key to toggle
this highlighting is "M". Note that in Minecraft versions prior to
Beta 1.9-pre5, slimes would spawn only under y=16, whereas from that point
on, slimes will spawn under y=40. X-Ray will highlight up to y=40 for
A sphere with mostly-arbitrary radius can be drawn on the map, which might
be helpful for planning out mob grinders or the like. To toggle the sphere
on or off, use the forward slash key - it will default to centering around
the current camera position the first time, but remain at that point until
overridden. To set a new sphere center, use the semicolon key. The sphere
will start out with a radius of 24. You can increase or decrease the radius
in 8-block increments using "comma" and "period," within the bounds of 8
blocks and 128 blocks. The sphere itself will be a bluish tone, and the
center will be marked with a small reddish sphere. X-Ray will remember your
sphere settings for the last world in which you've enabled the sphere.
The rendering information popup can be toggled with "R" and is on by
default. This will let you know what these various settings are set to.
For singleplayer worlds, there will be two camera presets: the spawnpoint,
and the location of the player. In this case, INS/DEL isn't really any
different than using HOME/END to jump directly to those presets. If you
use X-Ray to load a multiplayer world, though, there will also be a camera
preset for each multiplayer user discovered in the world folder, which you
can then cycle through using INS/DEL. If you've imported a multiplayer
map into singleplayer, the app should create presets for the singleplayer
character AND any multiplayer users still found in the "players" directory.
If your world contains a Nether subdirectory, you can warp back and forth
between them with the "N" key. The app will attempt to automatically
translate your position based on where you'd go if you had just used a
portal, though this should only be considered a rough estimate. Note that
especially when in the Nether, it's possible to warp back to the Overworld
at a location where there isn't actually any map data. Eventually I'll
try to check for this and make sure that you don't warp outside of the
map, but for now just use the camera presets to get back into known
territory if that happens to you.
By default, if you move forward, X-Ray will move directly towards the point
you're looking at, including up/down. If you want to "lock" the camera to
the vertical axis, you can do so with "L," at which time moving forward/back
will only move the camera horizontally. You can still move the camera up
and down manually, of course.
In general, X-Ray will attempt to use the same texture pack that Minecraft is
using, but there may be some circumstances where you want X-Ray to use a
X-Ray will look in four locations for the texture information to load, in this
1) Inside the following directory, as an override:
OSX: ~/Library/Application Support/.minecraft_xray/textures/
2) From the texture pack that Minecraft itself is set to use.
3) From Minecraft's builtin texture pack. This could be a custom texture pack
if you've patched the Minecraft JAR file directly with a texture pack,
rather than using Minecraft's builtin texture-loading mechanisms
4) From a bundled, built-in texturepack included with X-Ray itself. This
method should theoretically never fail, unless the X-Ray install directory
has been modified.
The override texture directory mirrors the internal structure of the
texturepacks, but should not be a zipfile. Right now there are four files
that X-Ray could end up reading from this directory:
particles.png (for the "fire" texture)
art/kz.png (this is the Paintings texture file)
So, rather than packing those inside a zipfile, just put them inside the
"textures" directory and restart X-Ray, if you wanted to manually override a
Note that this *will* work for files specified in custom block definition
files (as described above). For instance, if you're using Aethermod and want
to override the "Icestone.png" file, you'd put your own Icestone.png file into
X-Ray keeps a properties file at the following location, essentially right alongside
the ".minecraft" directory that Minecraft itself uses:
OSX: ~/Library/Application Support/.minecraft_xray/xray.properties
As of X-Ray 3.5.0, all settings in this file can be set using the GUI, so there
shouldn't be any reason to edit it by hand. If you do want to edit it by hand,
though, feel free - it's just a text file.